In late 2013, Ukraine shot to the centre of global attention as a result of the protests triggered by its government’s refusal to sign a new agreement with the European Union. The analysis of the Ukraine crisis, however, has been often reduced to a stand-off between Russia and the West. This chapter explains how this book transcends the often simplified take on events and the fragmented and ad hoc explanations of Ukraine’s integration behaviour vis-à-vis Russia and the EU. We examine Ukraine’s integration choices in three respects. First, we analyse the nature of the integration offers from Russia and the EU, especially the often misunderstood intricacies of, and compatibilities between, association with the EU and participation in Russia-led integration regimes. Second, we focus on domestic dynamics in Ukraine and their impact on the country’s integration choices. Third, we deliberately adopt a long-term perspective in examining the continuity and credibility of the integration choices, given the very different integration choices on offer.
Keywordsarea studies Association Agreement domestic regime in Ukraine EU Eurasian Union post-Soviet integration realist theory Russia Ukraine
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